Madagascar’s leader says opposition protests equals to a coup

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People carry a man shot in the abdomen during clashes with police at an opposition protest against new election laws in Madagascar
People carry a man shot in the abdomen during clashes with police at an opposition protest against new election laws in Madagascar
Spining

Madagascar’s president Hery Rajaonarimampianina on Sunday described an opposition-led demonstration on Saturday in the capital, Antananarivo, as a coup attempt.

“Madagascar is a country respecting democracy, but what happened on Saturday is really a coup,” Rajaonarimampianina said in an address to the nation.

The government said at least one person died and 17 others were injured in clashes between demonstrators and the armed forces, but opposition leaders on Sunday put the death toll at six.

Demonstrators were protesting a new electoral law that the opposition said would exclude many of their candidates and give too much advantage to the ruling party in the upcoming elections.

“All of us should accept that the coup is never a good solution for Madagascar,” Rajaonarimampianina said.

He said the armed forces will defend the democratic system in Madagascar and defend people’s life and properties.

The president said he is open to dialogue for the interest of the country.

He said he will continue to work for Madagascar’s development and to tackle economic problems facing the country.

Since its independence in 1960, Madagascar experienced four cyclical political crises, in 1972, 1991, 2002 and 2009. Enditem

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